Potassium Chloride as Ground Improvement in Quick Clay Areas – A Preliminary Study

  • Tonje E. HelleEmail author
  • Ingelin Gjengedal
  • Arnfinn Emdal
  • Per Aagaard
  • Øyvind Høydal
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 36)


Potassium chloride was added to low saline Norwegian post glacial clays to study its effect on strength parameters. The laboratory study was carried out on undisturbed sensitive clay samples from two locations in mid-Norway. The mechanical behaviour of sensitive clays is greatly influenced by their pore water ionic content. Adding salt changes the geotechnical properties of quick clay to such an extent that it appears as a total different clay. Salt migration is a time consuming process strongly dependent on diffusion through the soil. Deriving the effective diffusion coefficient from water content of 30–50 %, the clay will be de-sensitized over a length of 50 and 56 cm respectively after 1 year. Ground improvement with salt is done by installing salt wells. This study is part of a design project for such installations. The consumption of time depends on the distance between the wells, diffusion coefficient and maintenance of high concentration in the salt well.


Quick clay Ground improvement Potassium chloride Diffusion 



The authors would like to thank the Norwegian Geotechnical Society and the research program “Natural Hazards”: Infrastructure for floods and slides (NIFS) initiated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate and Norwegian National Railways Administration for funding this project. Prof. Yudhbir is thanked for his valuable comments on the manuscript. We would also like to thank Elisabeth Gundersen, Vikas Thakur, Frode Oset, Tor Løken, Odd Gregersen, Eirik Traae and Steinar Nordal for good discussions, in addition to the great effort carried out by the field- and laboratory staff at NTNU Geotechnical Research Group Jan Jønland and Gunnar Winther.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tonje E. Helle
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ingelin Gjengedal
    • 3
    • 4
  • Arnfinn Emdal
    • 1
  • Per Aagaard
    • 5
  • Øyvind Høydal
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Transport EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.The Norwegian Public Road AdministrationTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  4. 4.NorconsultMoldeNorway
  5. 5.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of Oslo (UiO)OsloNorway
  6. 6.Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)OsloNorway

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